As part of this lobbying campaign, the European Disability Forum (EDF) has defined its most important priorities which will be our “red lines” when it comes to the vote. That means, if those priorities will not be included in the report, EDF recommends to MEPs to reject the adoption of the report completely.
On 14 September, all the 751 Member of the European Parliament (MEPs) will vote whether the previously weak report of the Internal Market Committee (IMCO) is adopted or not. EDF is campaigning to strengthen the report. If this is not possible, EDF will recommend to vote “no” to the adoption of the IMCO report because it would mean the European Parliament will start from a very weak position in the upcoming negotiations with the European Commission and the especially the Council of the EU.
Those priorities, featured on the video, are:
- A binding clause on the built environment (Article 3 (10))
- A clear reference to the applicability of the accessibility requirements to other Union acts such as public procurement or the EU Structural Funds (Article 1(3))
- Obligations for all businesses, including for microenterprises and SMEs (Art. 12)
- An ambitious and comprehensive Annex I with clear requirements (Annex I)
- Requirements for all transport modes that clearly go beyond existing legislation
Why is the EAA important
Persons with disabilities in Europe often have difficulties accessing many basic products and services on an equal basis with other people. The Accessibility Act is needed to improve this situation.
While many EU Member States already have some form of accessibility legislation, there is no EU law on accessibility. The European Accessibility Act should provide a minimum level of accessibility when it comes to products and services so that they can be circulated in all EU Member States. Adopting the Accessibility Act will be a big step for the EU to promote the inclusion of its 80 million persons with disabilities, in line with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities that the EU and all Member States, except Ireland, have ratified.